92016 1/10/2007 13:42 07SOFIA43 Embassy Sofia CONFIDENTIAL 07SECSTATE470 VZCZCXYZ0011 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHSF #0043 0101342 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 101342Z JAN 07 FM AMEMBASSY SOFIA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3045 INFO RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0143 RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS C O N F I D E N T I A L SOFIA 000043
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/09/2016 TAGS: ETRD, EUN, PGOV, BU SUBJECT: BULGARIAN MFA EAGER TO KEEP TRADE TREATIES, BUT NEEDS AMMUNITION TO HOLD OFF BRUSSELS
REF: A. SECSTATE 470
B. 06 SOFIA 1613
Classified By: DCM Alex Karagiannis for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d)
1. (C) We delivered ref. A points to MFA's Emilena Popova, Director of the International Cooperation Directorate, and Ivan Danchev, Head of the U.S. and Canada Department in the Americas Directorate, on January 8. Popova was glad to hear that the USG agreed to discontinue the 1938 Treaty on Certificate Legalization and asked when the GOB may expect our return diplomatic note.
2. (C) On the 1995 IPR agreement and the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BTA), Popova said that while the MFA would also prefer to keep and modify the agreements, Bulgaria is under pressure from the European Commission (EC) to abandon them. With EU accession, Bulgaria has "surrendered its sovereignty" on trade matters to Brussels, she said, and discussions on bilateral treaties should be between the USG and the EC. We pushed back with the argument that EU membership has not stopped thirteen of the original members and many of the 2004 accession countries from maintaining such bilat treaties with the U.S. Popova was visibly relieved to hear that a precedent exists and was eager to receive our written arguments. She admitted that the EC's approach to Bulgaria is stricter and more demanding than to the previous accession countries.
2. (C) We particularly stressed the importance of keeping the IPR agreement as part of the GOB's overall IPR protection regime, highlighting that it would send the wrong message to abandon it while Bulgaria is trying to increase its efforts against pirates. Both Popova and Danchev were receptive to our arguments, but suggested that we will have to engage directly with the Ministry of Economy, the lead agency on EU treaty compliance. We agreed that Popova will relay our points to the Ministry of Economy, and we will follow up with the Ministry of Economy's expert to drive home our arguments and seek clarification on legal incompatibilities between the BTA and IPR agreements and EU law. BEYRLE